The physical security of your electronic devices is very important. Why? Because the information inside them is also important. Worrying about encryption, about passwords, and secure connections is not enough if you want true security. The most efficient way for an attacker or thief to get access to your sensitive information or personal data is for them to just walk right up to the device while you’re not present. So I’m going to share some suggestions to help protect against this.
Think about how you carry around your devices. This is something we really don’t think about very often. But there are companies out there that make laptop bags and backpacks that are exclusively meant for carrying laptops. If there’s a thief out there looking to steal something valuable and they see a backpack with one of these logos on it, they have a pretty good idea that what it contains is in fact something expensive. It’s a laptop and it’s mobile technology. Something that they would like to steal. So you are really creating a magnet to yourself. What I would suggest instead, lots of companies out there produce what’s called a sleeve. This is basically a tight form fitting padded container that your laptop, iPad or mobile device can fit into. Then you can put that sleeve into any backpack or bag. It will have the same protection as a bag that’s specifically designed for laptops but it will be a lot less obvious and a lot less likely to draw the attention from thieves.
This one may seem a little bit silly but now that we all have smartphones and mobile devices, we are doing a lot of our business outside of the office. We’re having phone conversations while we’re on the train, while we’re at a Starbucks, or something like that. Think about who can overhear your conversations. If you think this isn’t actually an issue, here’s an example of an article from a few years ago, where an attorney was on a train talking about some of his firm’s planned layoffs. Layoffs which they intended to keep secret. Well unfortunately, a couple of rows away from him was somebody from that firm, a junior associate, who was able to overhear the conversation and shared it with an online gossip blog for the legal industry. So that information immediately got out in an embarrassing and unintended way just because somebody had a phone conversation on a crowded train. So think seriously. Just because you can go out and have these conversations anywhere, just because the technology allows you to do it, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea.
So have a broad notion of what your physical security means and make sure that you’re taking steps to prevent an inadvertent leak like that. You also need to always make sure that you’re keeping a line of sight on your mobile device at all times so that you know your device is safe and that nobody is messing with it, either by it being stolen or somebody accessing it improperly.